Don urges Nigerian Govt to invest in Education
Sekinat Salam-Opebiyi, Abeokuta
A Nigerian educationist has urged government to evolve a policy to guarantee adequate funding of its education sector.
According to Professor of Sociology at the Olabisi Onabanjo University OOU, Ago – Iwoye, Ogun State, Professor Taiwo Edun adequate funding will help the sector to overcome the mirage of security challenges and yield positive results.
The Professor made specific references to the menace of the boko haram insurgency, youths restiveness, banditry, kidnappings, among other security challenges currently plaguing Nigeria.
Professor Edun emphatically declared that doom awaits Nigeria if government refuses to restructure, improve and invest more in the sector, stressing that the current system did not add value to Nigerian youths.
Delivering the 101st Inaugural Lecture at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, titled: “Rethinking Education For Gainful Youths Employment In Nigeria: A Sociological Imagination”, the Professor of charged governments at all levels to be willing to commit huge resources in the educational sector to realign the minds of Nigerian youths towards patriotism and attitudinal change.
Professor Edun cited the Chinese idiom, which says “if a nation desires anything good, let her fix it in her schools”.
“Also, an American orator and educator, Edward Everett identified education as a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. According to him the peace and security of the future will be determined by what happens in the classroom today,” Edun noted.
The Professor said that Nigeria must be willing to take a costly path to give her youths a virtuous, complete and generous education to avert the impending doom, stressing that education secures the society as well as the future she wants for her younger generation.
With special reference to over 3 million out-of-school children, Professor Edun urged Nigeria to have the political will to scale up budgetary allocation to the education to meet up with the Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG-8).
Aside from an improved funding of the education sector, the don advised the government to reposition the teaching profession, by evolving a policy as well as incentives to attract and keep the best brains in the teaching profession.
Review of Retirement Age
According to Professor Edun, such incentives should include an upward review of retirement ages of teachers from 60 years to 65 years of age.
The don, who lamented that Nigerian is today, entangled by mutual suspicion, indolence and mono-economy, which he linked to antithetical as well as unemployment.
He expressed worry that Nigeria’s huge resources, which should have been invested in education and infrastructural development but were now committed to endless wars against insurgency, terrorism kidnapping among others.
He said, “Since no nation can fight against herself and win, Nigeria should set machinery in motion to dialogue with all groups and address genuine concerns with a view to arriving at equitable structure for the generation and distribution of resources as a necessary condition for building a peaceful and inclusive society”.